The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says it is unfazed by the decision of the United Kingdom to include Ghana in a list of 54 countries that should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers.
According to the Association, the move by the UK will only discourage healthcare professionals from engaging mass recruitment agencies, but individuals can have the option of seeking opportunities elsewhere.
The announcement was made by the UK government in its revised code of practice for international recruitment of health and social care personnel published on the NHS Employers website.
The Code of Practice for International Recruitment states that some developing countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire should not be targeted when actively recruiting health or social care professionals.
A release on the NHS website stated that the countries listed have a UHC Service Coverage Index that is lower than 50 and a density of doctors, nurses and midwives that is below the global median (48.6 per 10,000 population).
In an interview with Citi News, the President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Frank Serebour called on the government to begin implementing innovative measures to retain healthcare professionals in the country.
“There are still countries that have not red-listed, you can still move to the United States, you can go to Canada and the other countries so for me this doesn’t really change much. I think the pull factors are still there, people can be motivated to move out there and ply their trade.
“We should be putting our house in order to ensure that we are putting in the right measures to attract and retain our health professionals, so I don’t think this changes anything.”
The countries placed on the red list of ‘No active recruitment’ under the code are Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia.
The rest are Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Republic of Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.